West Side Story (2021)


Ashley Swaw, Editor

With its spirited songs and dazzling dance numbers, the reimagination of the 1961 West Side Story leaves audiences in awe of Steven Spielberg’s work.

Over 60 years after the original film, the new West Side Story is still just as incredible as the original, just in a new light. With director Steven Spielberg and big names like Ariana Debose, Rita Moreno, and Maddie Ziegler West Side Story (2021) promised to be an amazing film especially for dedicated fans. The film was released to theaters on December 10th and can now be viewed on Disney+ and HBO Max.

The storyline of the film follows the romance between Maria and Tony, which is set against the backdrop of race driven tension. The film starts with Maria and Tony meeting and immediately falling for each other, despite objections from those closest to them. Those closest to them consist of the rival racial gangs in the film, the Sharks and the Jets, who are at odds over domination of the west side. 

Some audience members fell in love with the romance of the film. “I thought the relationship between Maria and Tony was so believable. The chemistry between the two actors was unmatched,” said an anonymous student. Others also loved the thrilling songs that graced the film. “I loved the passion and intensity of Ansel Elgort’s performance of Maria. I, too, wanted to jump off the balcony and take him in my arms,” said junior Briana Quiroga Flores.

This film has so far garnered the attention of the many award ceremonies including the Oscars, Golden Globes, SAG Awards, and many others. One award in particular stands out from all the others. Ariana Debose won the Oscar for the Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her role as Anita. Debose’s win was groundbreaking because she is, “the first openly queer woman to win an acting Oscar, as well as the first Afro-Latina,” mashable.com. This is not the first time the role of Anita has won this award, with Rita Moreno winning the same award in 1962.

The remake of West Side Story did not disappoint die hard fans of the classic musical.